Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pissabed?


After a winter of  monotone, spring's rapid green always takes me by surprise. I forget just how green; the speed of dandelions. I used to tag along with my grandmother, along rural Indiana roads, collecting enormous bouquets of dandelion greens. Did they grow more lush and tall then, or was it that I was smaller? We would come home with mountains of greens, to be trimmed and simmered with bits of bacon, canned and stored for the following winter.  

My local Kroger store carries dandelion greens in season. But what's the fun of eating them, if you haven't properly foraged? There was some discussion on Facebook last week about eating pokeweed greens. Apparently, they are poisonous, so they have to be cooked and drained three times before sauteing. Somehow that takes away from the fun of the hunt. I'm sticking to dandelion greens...or spinach...for that matter. It tastes the same. 

The dandelion was long popularly known as the pissabed 
because of its supposed diuretic properties, 
and other names in everyday use included mare's fart, 
naked ladies, twitch-ballock, hounds-piss, open arse, and bum-towel.


― Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything


*dandelion at Willow Manor


10 comments:

  1. Bill Bryson has been - I am sure - the target of mischievous informants whose only aim in life is to make his prolonged sojourn here all the more interesting. I believe David Sedaris, but not Bill Bryson.

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  2. I adore all those nicknames for the dandelion. Yes, we used to eat … little purple flowers we found in our hayfield - clover? Great words down memory lane… "nostalgic shit"… ha ha

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  3. I've 'harvested' dandelion leaves from my yard a few times. Some of the plants definitely grow larger than others; I wonder if they're different varieties?

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  4. And here they're called 'pissenlit', but 'dandelion' comes from 'dents de lion'.... lions teeth.

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    1. Teeth of lion...yep...Bryson forgot the most important...

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  5. I think dandelions make our road verges quite attractive. Pure gold. I seem to recall that the dried roots of dandelions could be roasted as an ersatz coffee. Not sure I'd like to drink the result but who knows?

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    1. I've heard of dandelion wine...but not dandelion coffee...hmm...

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  6. Still giggling over "mare's fart" - HAHAHAHAHAHHHHHH!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)